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Management of Fractures of the Proximal Ulna

Dominique M. Rouleau J Am Acad Orthop Surg March 2013 vol. 21 no. 3 Abstract

Proximal ulna fractures can be difficult to manage because of the elbow’s complex anatomy. Advances in understanding elbow anatomy and biomechanics, however, have led to new insights. Careful preoperative evaluation is critical because failure to restore normal anatomy of the proximal ulna could have a detrimental effect on postoperative elbow function. Management options include anatomic plates, intramedullary devices, and strong tension band materials. Determining the most appropriate option for an individual fracture is based on analysis of radiographs and CT scans, including three-dimensional reconstruction. Coronoid fractures, olecranon fractures, and associated elbow instability influence the indications for any given fixation device. Appreciating the subtleties of proximal ulna anatomy and biomechanics can lead to improved clinical outcomes. Recent concepts affecting fracture management include proximal ulna dorsal angulation, the importance of the anteromedial facet of the coronoid, and intermediate fragments of the olecranon.

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